Kayla Harrison vs Holly Holm added to UFC 300 in shock announcement

Kayla Harrison will make her UFC debut in April, taking on Holly Holm in a bantamweight bout at UFC 300.

Harrison’s signing with the UFC and match-up with Holm were confirmed in a shock announcement, late on Tuesday (23 January).

Harrison is a two-time Olympic gold medalist in Judo, and her arrival in the UFC marks the end of her stint in the Professional Fighters League (PFL), where she was a two-time lightweight champion.

Holm, 42, is a former UFC bantamweight champion, having won the title with a stunning head-kick knockout of Ronda Rousey in 2015, while fellow American Harrison, 33, has never fought at 135lbs.

“Holly will be taking on the only person in US history to win back-to-back Olympic gold medals in Judo,” said UFC president Dana White. “The UFC has officially signed Kayla Harrison.

“Kayla is 16-1 with 12 finishes. Her takedowns, her ground and pound are nasty. And this will be the first time she’ll be competing at bantamweight. So, there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. That fight is also at UFC 300.”

Some fans had speculated that UFC 300, which is still without a main event, could see the return of a UFC legend like Brock Lesnar or Ronda Rousey, with many suggesting that the latter could partake in a rematch with Holm.

White dismissed those ideas this month, however, before Tuesday’s announcement that Harrison has joined the UFC and will fight Holm.

Harrison won Olympic gold at London 2012 and Rio 2016, having previously won a Judo world title in 2010. She made her professional MMA debut in 2018.

A number of bouts have been announced for UFC 300, including a ‘BMF’ title fight between Justin Gaethje and Max Holloway, and a strawweight title fight between Zhang Weili and Yan Xiaonan.